Episode 95 - Building Self-Directed Teams

In response to this #meta-question on Twitter...
... Bob and Josh take a deep dive into what exactly is needed to become a self-directed team and how you, and your team, can become one.

We've danced around this topic across numerous episodes, but never took the time to really dig into helping everyone understand how challenging this is.  What challenges/successes have you had in building self-directed teams?


  1. I've been listening to your podcasts for a few weeks/months and I quite like it. I find all the topics interesting, particularly as I was in a team that trying to do agile, but it didn't feel like we were doing well.

    Would you be able to increase the recording volume, or do some post-recording adjustments? I listen to podcasts on my walk to work and your podcast is so quiet that even if I turn my phone's volume to the max, any time there's a few cars, or a single motorbike or truck, I can't hear a thing. No other podcast I have in my podcast app is as quiet as yours. If I played music at the same phone volume, I'd damage my hearing, yet I can barely hear you. If you open your mp3 file in a waveform viewer, like Audacity, you can see how little of the waveform's range is actually used. Particularly if you compare it to the waveform of a song or most other podcasts. I recently changed jobs and the walk to work is a bit more noisy now, and I really can't hear a thing a lot of the time. If I catch the bus or the train, there's no point even trying to listen to this postcast. Sorry if it sounds like I'm going on and on about it, but I really like the topics in your podcasts, but I really can't hear it even at maximum volume.

    1. Are you having this issue on the latest episodes as well as the older ones?

      We've been making adjustments along the way to increase our audio quality. We know we are better than we used to be, but are always looking to improve!

    2. Thanks for replying Josh. Although I remember on recent episodes you two were saying how others have been writing to you telling you they have being going through your full archive, I've only been listening to new episodes since I started getting into podcasting recently. I quickly downloaded the most recent episodes from 4 different podcasts I listen to, and imported them into audacity, so you can see how much quieter yours is than the others: http://i.imgsafe.org/2a5450a7ec.png

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  3. Thanks for this episode! I was surprised to see the topic, it just shows that you are listening to your listeners and delivering to your customers.
    As you two talked through this topic it really filled in some gaps for me. Your stories of interactions and experiences really validates and helps guide my direction as an Agile coach and student. Your experience is a huge value to the community. Thanks so much again and keep up the great work!
    It occurred to me after I read Mike's work and then while I was listening to your podcast that as a Scrum Master, my job is to help build teams. As the team is building software they are also growing in their ability to be self organizing and self directed. As a Scrum Master I help to guide that growth and reflect back to them where they are on that growth path and what they can do to advance.
    I think the follow up for me, and this was addressed a little in the podcast, is what does that growth path look like and what questions do I ask to evaluate the team's progress and what to work on next. I think I am looking for some categories like: Inter-team communication, intra-team communication, ability to plan, etc. Without getting too standardized, but to give teams and Agile leaders guidelines for evaluation and action.
    Again, great work and thank you so much for your leadership. You both provide an invaluable resource?